Tag Archives: pro-choice

Pro-Choice Groups Raise Alarm Ahead of House Vote to Ban Abortion After 20 Weeks

“Republicans in Congress failed to take healthcare from millions—so they’re trying to ban abortion and take away bodily autonomy”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 10-2-2017

A participant in the Washington, D.C. Women’s March on Jan. 21, 2017 carried a sign promoting reproductive rights. (Photo: John Flores/Flickr/cc)

As the Republican-controlled U.S. House prepares to vote Tuesday on a bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy nationwide, reproductive rights advocates are urging Americans to contact their congressional representatives and pressure them to oppose the measure.

The proposed law, H.R. 36 (pdf), outlaws terminating a pregnancy after 20 weeks unless it is the result of rape or incest, or a doctor determines that because of “a life-endangering physical condition”—but”not including psychological or emotional conditions”—abortion is medically necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman.

If an abortion is performed after 20 weeks because an exception, the bill instructs “the abortion must be performed by the method most likely to allow the child to be born alive unless this would cause significant risk to the mother.”

The House passed versions of this proposal multiple times under former President Barack Obama, who vowed to veto it if the bill made it to his desk.

However, similar measures already have been passed in states across the country. According to the Guttmacher Institute, which tracks restrictions on reproductive rights, 17 states “ban abortion at about 20 weeks post-fertilization or its equivalent of 22 weeks after the woman’s last menstrual period on the grounds that the fetus can feel pain at that point in gestation.”

“The bill, misleadingly labeled as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, is premised at least in part on the assertion that fetuses can experience pain starting at 20 weeks post-fertilization. However, that claim is not supported by the preponderance of scientific evidence,” the Guttmacher Institute’s director of public policy, Heather Boonstra, wrote for The Hill.

Boonstra denounced the bill’s “particularly callous and cruel rape and incest exceptions” that require a waiting period and consultations with additional providers, and outlines how “Congress and the Trump administration are moving in the wrong direction on contraceptive access” more broadly, concluding that “it’s clearer than ever that purported anti-abortion policies only serve an ideological agenda, but do not advance women’s health or public health more broadly.”

The bill is just the latest attack on women’s reproductive rights under the Trump administration. Several advocacy organizations have turned to social media in recent days to raise awareness about the House’s plan to vote on the measure Tuesday, and warn about the potential consequences of the proposed ban.

As Boonstra explained in her Hill op-ed: “Although the vast majority of abortions take place early in pregnancy, slightly more than one percent of abortions are performed at 21 weeks or later. A 20-week abortion ban would fall hardest on low-income women and women of color,” in part because “these are the very groups bearing a disproportionate burden of unintended pregnancies.”

Some have drawn connections between this revived proposal and congressional Republicans’ recent failed attempts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and strip basic healthcare from millions of Americans with a healthcare bill that experts also warned would have been especially damaging for women.

Others have been quick to argue that the ban would be unconstitutional.

Ultimately, opponents of the bill agree that it would unfairly and unnecessarily harm women.

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Texas Study Shows How Defunding Planned Parenthood Actually Increased Abortion Rates

State’s teen abortion rate and teen birth rate both spiked after lawmakers cut funding and closed more than 80 family planning clinics

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-14-2017

Texas lawmakers’ attacks on reproductive rights have closed more than 80 of the states family planning clinics, including 11 Planned Parenthood clinics. Photo: The Trott Line

Illustrating the potential consequences if Republicans fulfill their threat to defund Planned Parenthood nationwide, a new study shows that when Texas slashed state funding for family planning clinics in 2011, the abortion rate among teenagers in the state actually increased.

The Texas state legislature launched a series of attacks on reproductive rights, beginning in 2011, when it cut funding for family planning services by 67 percent and restructured the way it allocates the remaining funds. These measures closed more than 80 clinics, including 11 Planned Parenthood clinics. One of the purported goals, said Republican backers, was to decrease abortion rates. As then-governor Rick Perry said: “We will continue to pass laws to ensure abortions are as rare as possible under existing law.” Continue reading

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Rights Groups Prepare for Fight Against Arkansas’ Man-Approved Abortion Law

Law would require any woman seeking an abortion to get permission from the man who impregnated her

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-11-2017

Arkansas legislators have drawn harsh criticism from women’s rights groups after passing four new laws that would severely restrict abortion access. (Photo: Steve Rhodes/Flickr/cc)

A hearing is scheduled for Thursday in the American Civil Liberties Union’s suit to block several new anti-reproductive rights laws that have passed in Arkansas, which would impose severe restrictions on women’s abortion access in the state.

The group has joined with the Center for Reproductive Rights to keep the laws from going into effect, starting at the end of July. Continue reading

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To Defend Against Trump, Delaware Just Preemptively Enshrined Abortion Rights

Even if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, the state’s new law ensures right to choose is law of state

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 6-9-2017

“This new law is important because it says to women that you are important, that you have the ability to decide when to have a child and the state supports you in making the decision that is best for you and your family,” said Elizabeth Nash of the Guttmacher Institute. (Photo: Shane Conneely/flickr/cc)

As the Trump administration ramps up its war on women, Delaware just took a step in the opposite direction, passing a law to shield abortion rights from Republican attacks.

Senate Bill 5 passed the state House on Tuesday, and was signed into law Thursday by Democratic Gov. John Carney. It takes effect immediately. Continue reading

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As Trumpcare Targets Women’s Health, GOP Mother’s Day Hypocrisy Slammed

“I wonder how many GOPs who voted #trumpcare will wish their moms Happy Mothers Day while their vote said, hey your healthcare means nothing.”

By Jon Queally, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-14-2017

A woman holds a sign as people gathered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Saturday to protest the Republican’s Trumpcare plan. (Photo: WISN/12)

President Donald Trump wished “all of the great mothers out there” a Happy Mother’s Day on Sunday, but voters from across the nation responded harshly to what they considered a hollow message from the Republican president who has proved repeatedly, both in word and in deed, that he is no friend to women’s health and well-being.

With an emphasis on the Trumpcare plan now being crafted by the president and his GOP allies in the House and Senate that would, if passed into law, decimate healthcare options and access for women, the president and other GOP leaders were on the receiving end of scorn for what many take to be their callous indifference, ignorance, hypocrisy, or some combination of the three. Continue reading

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8 Things Congress Has Done While Everyone was Distracted by Trump

By . Published 2-14-2017 by The Anti-Media

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

While we were distracted by the onslaught of executive orders President Trump pushed through during his first two weeks in office, legislators in Congress were busy quietly introducing legislation to bolster his top-down moves.

Here’s what you missed:

1. A House Panel Voted to Terminate the Election Assistance Commission

The House Administration Committee voted 6-3 in favor Republican Congressman Gregg Harper’s bill to terminate the Election Assistance Commission. The EAC, which was created in response to the contentious 2000 Florida election results as part of the Help America Vote Act, is a bipartisan commission that certifies voting machines and is responsible for making sure they cannot be hacked. Continue reading

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The Scramble for Women’s Health-Care Coverage in the Time of Trump

The time to obtain contraceptives is now.

By . Published 2-6-2017 by YES! Magazine

This is a Mirena IUD, a form of long-lasting reversible birth control. Photo: Sarahmirk (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0] via Wikimedia Commons

As uncertainty looms for millions of women about the future of birth control access under the new Trump administration and Congress, patients are speaking out, and states are stepping up.

Congress’s promise to eliminate the Affordable Care Act would wipe out the mandate that insurance providers fully cover birth control. However, family planning advocates are mobilizing patients to contact their representatives, and a handful of states are working to guarantee birth control coverage regardless of what will happen to the ACA. Continue reading

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Anti-Choice GOP Doubles Budget for ‘Witch-Hunt’ Panel

‘It is appalling that the House of Representatives just gave the dangerous Select Investigative Panel an $800,000 pat on the back for its work to peddle lies’

By Deirdre Fulton, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 12-2-2016

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) is chair of the anti-choice select panel and a member of Donald Trump's transition team. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/cc)

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) is chair of the anti-choice select panel and a member of Donald Trump’s transition team. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/cc)

In yet another sign that the war on women will ramp up under a Republican-controlled Congress and Trump administration, the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday doubled the budget for an anti-choice subcommittee that reproductive rights advocates have denounced as a “taxpayer-funded witch hunt.”

With a vote largely along party lines, the House approved an additional $800,000 for the so-called “Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives,” created last October to look into fetal tissue research in the wake of 2015’s video smear campaign by anti-abortion activists that purported to show Planned Parenthood officials admitting to selling fetal body parts. In January, a grand jury empaneled to investigate those charges indicted the anti-abortion activists for fraud instead. Continue reading

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‘Hoop After Hoop’: How Gulf Coast States Are Playing Politics with Women’s Health

“It’s just plain irresponsible for politicians to keep forcing doctors to go court just to ensure that they can provide the care that women need.”

By Deirdre Fulton, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 6-3-2016

John Bel Edwards

John Bel Edwards. Photo:YouTube

Women on the Gulf Coast continue to face concerted attacks on their right to healthcare, as Louisiana passed new abortion restrictions this week and the ACLU sued Alabama over several recently enacted, draconian laws.

On Tuesday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed into law a bill banning the abortion procedure known as “dilation and evacuation” or D&E—which women’s health experts say is the safest and most common method of abortion for women in their second trimester of pregnancy. Continue reading

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Oklahoma Senate Passes Bill to Slap Abortion Providers With Felony

‘By creating an effective ban on abortion, Senate Bill 1552 is one of the most extreme anti-choice measures imaginable.’

By Nadia Prupis, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-19-2016

SB 1552 effectively bans abortion in Oklahoma, reproductive rights group said. (Photo: @TrustWomen/Twitter)

SB 1552 effectively bans abortion in Oklahoma, reproductive rights group said. (Photo: @TrustWomen/Twitter)

The Oklahoma Senate on Thursday passed one of the nation’s most restrictive abortion laws, which would make it a felony to perform the procedure and restrict any physician who does so from obtaining or renewing a medical license in the state.

The measure would effectively ban abortion altogether in Oklahoma, the state’s ACLU chapter said. The Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) noted that the bill, Senate Bill (SB) 1552, was the first of its kind in the nation. Continue reading

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